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The cat curiosity killed (Friday Fictioneers)

October 4, 2018

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


“What’s that?”

“A shell, darling.”

“What’s that?”

“A fossil, dear.”

A pause. Shuffling feet. A sniff and a sleeve scrubs across a wet nose. “What’s that?”

Sigh. “Driftwood, sweetie.”

A longer pause. A heel scraped across the floor leaves a black mark. “What’s that?”

“The line to see the penguins.”

Thumping feet to the window. Smudges and an ear-aching sound of wet glass. “What’s that?”

“A sea monster who eats little boys who ask questions, honey.”

A pause. Little fingers wipe red eyes.


“Sweetheart, you don’t really care what they are do you?”

“Can we have burgers tonight?”



This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100


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  1. I read this as a child trying very hard to be interested and bond with the adult whose stand off reaction is one of condescending irritation. Was this the intention?

  2. Haha, I recognised this straight away. Being a parent is tricky, so many times you take them places you think will fascinate them and they have no interest. Mention ‘McDonalds’ for a lunch treat and you’re the best Dad ever!! 🙂

  3. Sometimes they ask to go back round once again to see the dinosaur that scared them the first time

  4. Ah, been there. When they’re not listening to the answers, the trick is to say something outrageous in a dead-pan voice. That usually keeps them on their toes.

  5. Jelli permalink

    Ahhh, the beauty of children’s curiosity, and the dreaded “why”. I thought the twins would never outgrow it… one hasn’t and that’s a good thing. He’s still learning even at 28. 🙂 ❤

    • Hahaha well that’s great to hear. Questions are wonderful, though they do get a bit tiresome too

      • Jelli permalink

        yes, they do… but in the end, it’s ALL worth it to see them flourish!

  6. Dear Laurie,

    I wonder what would’ve happened if the parent had given outrageous answers. What did parents do before fast food? Good one.



  7. Abhijit Ray permalink

    Little boy asking questions, all for a burger?

  8. Ah, toddlers and the “Why?” questions, or in this case, “what’s that?” Takes a strong will to slog through the thousands of them in one hour. Burgers it is!!

  9. For the first few sentences I felt like James; adult being condescending. But by the end you’d persuaded me of a different view. I think it’s a small boy who has a cold (wet nose, red eyes) and it’s a rainy day so he can’t go out. And he’s asking mom questions that start off fairly sensible, but both answers and questions become more fanciful, until small boy suddenly thinks “Burger!”
    You catch the interaction between querulous parent and fractious child very accurately!
    My son used to demand information wholesale. “Tell me all you know about (snakes /aluminium /bees /batteries/whatever)

    • Thanks Penny. Thats what I was aiming for! You nailed it. Omg yours were very clever to ask for everything you know. So hard for you though. You must have done a lot of research. 😊

  10. This brought back memories – although my strongest memories are of the dreaded and interminable ‘why’ stage. When they get to teenage years they stop talking all together and resort to grunts – much easier to handle 🙂 Excellent dialogue.

  11. We all want to be the parent who can interest kids in the finer things, most times however the promise of McDonalds and then sweets is enough to win them over!!

  12. This is why I never became a parent. NO patience when it comes to children. You captured that well ~ although the parent seemed quite patient for awhile.

  13. I could feel the child’s boredom in this piece. Just as an aside though, it’s great when your child get old enough to understand a bribe!

  14. All of us parents have been there…the endless why and what questions – love the deadpan answer that stops him in his tracks long enough to stop and switch it up to lunch…

  15. I think every parent has played the WHY game with their children. I once responded to my persistent son’s “Why?” wiith “Why not?” It worked for me for quite a while 🙂

  16. I think this is a very common way for kids to ask… maybe in the end it’s the burger that matters the most.

  17. Been there so many times. Nicely done.

  18. Sarah Ann permalink

    Lovely questioning voice – pity the chid wasn’t truly interested as that is one worn out parent.

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